Belews Creek Steam Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Belews Creek Steam Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Duke Energy near Belews Creek, North Carolina.


The plant is located on Belews Lake in Stokes County, North Carolina. Belews Lake was created by Duke Power for cooling water purposes in the early 1970s. It was formed from Belews Creek, a small tributary of the Dan River.

Loading map...

Plant Data

  • Owner: Duke Energy Carolinas
  • Parent Company: Duke Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 2,160 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 1,080 MW (1974), 1,080 MW (1975)
  • Location: 3195 Pine Hall Rd., Belews Creek, NC 27009
  • GPS Coordinates: 36.28, -80.060556
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Retirement discussions

In its 2020 Integrated Resource Plan's base case scenario, Duke used a 2039 retirement year for the plant (this was not a commitment to retire the coal plant and simply dates for planning purposes).[1] Under the plan, Duke would reportedly retire all of its power plants in the Carolinas that "rely exclusively on coal" within the next 10 years and add between 1,050 MW and 7,400 MW of storage to its portfolio under six scenarios outlined.[2]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 14,034,728 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 95,290 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 21,179 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 475 lb.

Coal Waste Site

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Belews Creek

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[3] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Belews Creek Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 100 $750,000,000
Heart attacks 160 $17,000,000
Asthma attacks 1,700 $88,000
Hospital admissions 76 $1,800,000
Chronic bronchitis 63 $28,000,000
Asthma ER visits 88 $33,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

"High Hazard" Surface Impoundment

Belews Creek Steam Station's Active Ash Pond surface impoundment is on the EPA's official June 2009 list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not assess of the likelihood of such an event.[5]

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


Related articles

External Articles

This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.